It's not the food prep that has always stopped me from cooking complex meals. It's the clean up. Before dinner everyone's happy, but after? In that interminable cluster before bath? Everyone loses his shit. Which is why tonight I am going to spend my "me" time after Cooper is asleep and before I shower cleaning the floor. Clean up takes longer now, too, because while Ben has corralled all 3 in the basement, I run around doing little stuff I didn't have free hands to do all day-- wipe toothpaste out of sinks and off of vanity drawer fronts, lay out tomorrow's school clothes, make sure Harry's homework folder is empty, stuff small gloves and mittens into tomorrow's coat pockets, rehome shoes scattered on the laundry room floor, put away yesterday's pacifiers and pump parts from the drying rack, wash today's pump after bagging today's milk, roam the house collecting today's pacifiers and washing them. Tonight I also got to clean pee off the floor in the downstairs bathroom and roasted tomato pieces off the oven rack, door, and walls in addition to the usual counter and table wiping, dishwasher loading, lunch packing, dish washing, and taking out an island full of recycling. But I still have a better time than Ben, who has to deal with 3 crabby kids. Which is why tonight, we realized everything would be more fun when the entire 5 and under crowd went the $%*& to sleep. The old, caffeinated me would have powered through clean up at the expense of a crying baby, frazzled husband and squabbling brothers because I lived my life at the edge of a slippery slope, and if I have to wash the floor tonight after the baby goes to bed THEN I WILL NEVER HAVE FREE TIME AGAIN EVER IN MY LIFE WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY LOVE ME? During my pregnancy, we hated cleaning up dinner during arsenic hour so much that we half-assed our diners all summer. We ate a cut of meat that could be grilled, salad straight from a bag, berries or melon, and a vegetable every night unless we went out (lots) or ordered in (too messy). No sauces, no frills, no crumbs, usually only messy under Jack's chair. I don't actually know why we have decided to complicate things with new recipes (we made this tonight and it was delicious). Pinterest, probably, and the delightful return of sweater weather.
Seriously, you guys, the caffeine thing? Unbelievable. I rode up to my office the other day in an elevator and wasn't even hesitant about it. A couple months ago, I made a hospital security guard unlock some emergency stairs and escort me up to Jack's ENT appointment after climbing out of the parking garage because I refused to get in the elevator. Even now, the baby is grunting and popping his eyes open and spitting out hi pacifier only to cry for me to put it back in and just generally NOT going to sleep, and I am not a bit anxious even though-- get ready to clutch your pearls-- my kitchen floor is a mess. Even this poem that always used to make me roll my eyes:
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby lullaby loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
makes total sense this time around. Is it that we know with certainty that Cooper is our last? Or is it the decaf?
The only thing I want to rush is the damn weight loss.
Oh! Harry's school celebrated crazy hair day today:
I am proud to report his coif looked exactly like that after school, despite wearing a hat outside for 2 recesses. I am a master hair sprayer. I didn't live through the 80s for nothing.